Sunday 30 April 2017

Lime Brownies with Lime Glaze

Should these be called as bars or brownies ?  Not sure …  anyway, I thought they looked more like bars.  As I didn’t want the usual chocolaty moist fudgy brownies ... so I tried these very citrusy tangy lime brownies with lime glaze. Whenever I’m cutting citrus fruits like lemon and lime, I will be salivating over the juice ... hee.. hee ... These bars are definitely very refreshing with bursting of tangy lime flavour but not quite fudgy though, yet with light tender crumbs.  (Sob sob! ... I’ve overbaked these brownies!)

Recipe adapted from: Life with the crust cutoff
My slight changes made below
Lime brownies
Ingredients :
100g all-purpose plain flour
100g caster sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
113g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2 large eggs (the size of my egg is 60g each with shell)
2 teaspoons lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice

Lime Glaze
50g confectioners’ sugar
1 - 1.5 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest

Method :
About 2 large limes for the zest and lime juice.

Preheat the oven to 175ºC. Position the rack in the middle. The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven.

Line an 8 x 8inch (20 cm) square pan with parchment paper, grease with some butter. Leave excess parchment paper hanging over the sides for easy removal from pan.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and caster sugar with an electric mixer. Add in the salt and flour and beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lime zest, and lime juice until combined. Pour into the flour mixture and beat at medium speed with the electric mixer until smooth and combined.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden around the edges. (do not overbake as overbaking will create a dry brownie).
{my note : next time, I will watch the timing to stop at 22 minutes}

Test with a toothpick inserted in the center if it comes out clean.  Remove the brownie from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely before glazing.

To make  the lime glaze:
In a small bowl, use a spoon to mix the confectioners’ sugar and zest with lime juice. Mix and stir to desired consistency by adding more lime juice.

Spread the lime glaze over the brownies and cut into bars to serve.  But I like to cut the brownies into bars first, then drizzle the lime glaze over the them.  Pair them with a glass of cold ice lemon tea ! A quick fix for the sunny afternoon tea break. Enjoy !

Monday 24 April 2017

Mini Lemon Pudding Cakes (Old Timey Pudding Cakes)

Does Magic Custard Cake rings a bell ? 
Oh !  It was so popular a few years ago in blogosphere as we were fascinated with "one batter when baked, it separated into three layers: a cake layer on top, a custard layer in the middle and another dense custard layer on the bottom".  I, too, baked the magic custard cake to join in the fun then. After awhile, I tried the chocolate version but the layers were not distinguished.  As my big kids didn't like a big cake with too much "milky and kueh-like texture", hence, I did not attempt other flavour like coffee or pandan.

Scouting for some cookbooks in the Library and "Dessert for Two" caught my eyes ... I like the idea of cookies, cakes and pies recipes just nice for 2 persons (Lazy me don't have to do my calculation to scale down the recipes ... hee.. hee!).  A recipe 'Old Timey Pudding Cakes' by the author "like the magic custard cake one batter and during the baking process, it separates into 3 layers : a pudding, a cake and a slightly crunchy meringuelike crust."

But these are just like Mini Lemon Pudding Cakes to me. We love lemony citrus cakes and these mini cakes are just perfect for our after meal dessert. (need not keep any unfinished portion in the fridge).

Recipe adapted from Cookbook Dessert for Two by Christina Lane
Old Timey Pudding Cakes
Yields 2 individual cakes (6-ounce ramekin x 2) <I used 3 ramekins as I don't have the exact size>

Ingredients :
65g caster sugar
1 egg, separated
80ml milk
15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt (omitted as I used 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice to egg white)
15g all-purpose plain flour

To coat the ramekins :
Some softened unsalted butter
2 teaspoons of caster sugar

1) Preheat the oven to 160°C and position the rack in the center.

2) Brush the ramekins with softened unsalted butter. Brush from bottom upwards. Then, coat the ramekins with caster sugar. And shake out any excess, set aside.

3) Separate the egg into yolk and white. (the size of my egg is 65g with shell).

4) Prepare water bath by filling an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish or pan with 2 cups of hot water or enough to come up about 1/2-inch on the sides of the ramekins.

5) In a clean small bowl, whisk the cold egg white and a pinch of salt (I used lemon juice) till foamy using the electric handheld or stand mixer. Beat till stiff peak, formed into a firm meringue.

6) In another bowl, beat together the egg yolk, caster sugar, milk, lemon zest and lemon juice with electric mixer on medium speed. Add the flour and mix until combined.

7) Gently but quickly fold the meringue into the yolk mixture with a spatula or manual whisk.  Once the mixture is combined, pour it into the prepared ramekins. Fill about 90% full.
(Note: the cake will rise above the rim while baking)

8) Bake for about 40 minutes.  The cakes are done when the tops are lightly golden and spring back when touched. Tip the cakes out of the ramekins immediately, garnish with mint leave if you like and serve.

While my big girl finds it a little too sweet but my big boy likes it.  As for me, I enjoy it with a cuppa of rose tea!
Enjoy !

Happy baking and have a great week ahead ^-^!

Saturday 22 April 2017

Banana Gula Melaka Sponge Cake

Gula Melaka or palm sugar are widely and popularly used in Nonya, Malaysian, Thai and South East Asian cooking (including drinks and desserts)  …Just to name a few : Ondeh-Ondeh, Kueh Dadar, Sago Gula Melaka, Kueh Bingka with Gula Melaka, Chendol, Pandan Kaya etc. etc. 

Have some over-ripe bananas and since I’ve not added palm sugar syrup in cake baking, tried out this recipe with lots of good review.  Thanks to Jeannie Tay for sharing this recipe. Indeed, the texture is fluffy soft, fragrance of banana and palm sugar aroma that I could not stop with just a few slices at one go.  Shared some with my colleagues and they too gave thumbs up !

Recipe adapted from : Jeannie Tay. Below my slight adjustment made on eggs and sugar.
Banana Gula Melaka Sponge Cake
150g cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
180g banana (mashed with fork)
70g Gula Melaka syrup – Roughly chopped the sugar
70g canola oil
5 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt

Meringue :
5 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
75g caster sugar

1) To make the Gula Melaka syrup, place chopped Gula Melaka with 50ml of water in a small saucepan, cook on medium heat for about 8 - 10 minutes till palm sugar dissolves. Stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 3 - 5 minutes until the syrup is slightly thickened in texture. Obtain about 70g and set aside.

2) Preheat oven to 160°C and position the rack in the center of the oven.

3) Line bottom of an 8 inch (20 cm) square pan with parchment paper, grease it as well as the sides of the pan with some butter.

4) Sieve together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.

5) Separate the eggs into yolks and whites. (the size of my egg is 60g each with shell)

6) In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the cold egg whites and cream of tartar till foamy using a handheld electric mixer. Gradually add in caster sugar in 3 separate additions and beat till stiff peak, formed into a firm meringue.

7) In a big bowl, place the mashed banana, oil, egg yolks, salt, gula melaka syrup and whisk the ingredients until combined with hand whisk.  Pour the flour into the mixture and mix until well combined. Do not over mix.

8) Using a hand whisk, gently fold in the meringue to the yolk mixture in 3 additions until it looks evenly mixed. Pour into the prepared cake pan at a height. Gently tap the pan a few times on table top to get rid of big bubbles.

9) Make a water bath by pouring 3 - 4 cups of hot water into a tray/dish. Place the cake pan in a water bath and bake for 70 minutes at 160°C.  If the top of the cake becomes too brown, tent it with sheet of aluminium foil and continue baking.  
*Note : I tent it in the last 20 minutes of baking. The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven.

10) Remove the cake pan from oven, let it cool for about 5 minutes or until cake has pulled away from the sides before inverting on to a smooth flat plate. Remove paper lining and re-invert on to a rack to cool.

Enjoy !